Technology has changed the way we live. Technological advancements have played a pivotal role in enhancing the speed of product movement and, thus, the profitability margins derived from the supply chain.
Efforts are continuously being made to discover ground-breaking technologies and explore their applications in various business areas to further refine the way several industries work.
Until and unless you have been living under a cave, you must have at least heard about Big Data, Advanced Robotics, Internet of Things, and several other technology trends that are taking the world by storm.
Today, every industry, including Agriculture, Pharmacy, and Consumer products, is adopting disruptive technologies to streamline their product handling experience. In this article, we will take a look at five technological trends shaping the future of product handling.
The Internet Of Things
The concept of the Internet of Things is unique as it represents machine-to-machine communication and coordination. This data-communication technology allows physical objects to be tracked and controlled using either the internet or the data network.
This technology finds a proper usage in warehouses where it is used to create communication and coordination across automated storage and retrieval systems, conveyors, and forklifts. The Internet of Things is already playing an essential role in allowing isolated devices to act on the data aggregated from different sources.
Big Data is a term used to define comprehensive data sets that exceed the processing capacity of conventional databases. These data sets are computationally analyzed to establish patterns and trends related to human behavior.
In the area of product handling, Big Data can be studied to inspect, analyze, and create data with the ultimate goal of supporting decision making. Currently, collecting and analyzing data from multiple sources is seen as the major impediment to the inclusion of Big Data in the area of product handling.
However, organizations focused on achieving supply chain efficiency have already started moving in the direction of Big Data and Analysis.
While technologies, such as the Internet of Things and Big Data, are focused on enhancing the productivity of the workforce, Advanced Robotics aims to automate manual tasks.
Efforts are continually being made to develop a new generation of advanced robots that will be able to study the environment in a better way and, thus, will possess better decision-making capabilities as well.
Advanced Robotics will change the area of product handling as it will finally relieve humans of performing monotonous and routine tasks. Moreover, with the help of advanced robotics, these tasks can now be accomplished at a higher speed and with more accuracy.
Much like advanced robotics, autonomous vehicles also focus on enhancing the speed with which tasks are performed in warehouses.
Autonomous vehicles can make decisions based on their surroundings. Many warehouses currently use AGVs or Automatic Guided Vehicles, which tread a programmed path.
However, the real revolution will come when autonomous vehicles will become truly independent and be able to make their own decisions without any external guidance.
Alternative Energy Sources
More recently, several ways have emerged to cut down on warehouse costs by switching to alternative energy sources. For instance, skylights and smart lights have emerged as a cost-effective alternative to previously-used lighting choices.
Moreover, in most warehouses, lead-acid batteries were used to power forklifts. However, lead-acid batteries have their disadvantages, and thus, hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries have replaced them in most warehouses.
The development of alternative energy sources will also play a crucial role in shaping the future of product handling.
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Chris is the co-founder of StrategyBeam, a marketing agency that offers Orlando SEO services. He loves working with companies from around the world and writes about technology and business practices.